By Linda Rost
Students from the Science Research class, facilitated by Linda Rost, and from other science classes competed at various science competitions during the week of March 22-28. Emalee Thurlow, Isaac Rost, Damien Smith, Sean Loutzenhiser, and Logan Wyrick competed at the Regional Billings Science Expo on Friday. Bo Rost and Megan Greiff attended the State FFA Convention in Great Falls on Wednesday through Saturday. Later, the Science Research class, consisting of Emalee Thurlow, Bo Rost, Isaac Rost and Megan Greiff, traveled to Missoula for the Montana State Science Fair and competed on Monday.
At the Billings Science Expo, Damien Smith, Sean Loutzenhiser, and Logan Wyrick received great feedback from their judges. Emalee Thurlow received the Homestead Scholarship of $500 at the Billings Science Expo sponsored by Billings Clinic. Then she received a Silver Award and the UM School of Business Administration Award at the Missoula Science Fair. Bo Rost qualified for National FFA in Indianapolis at the State FFA Agriscience Competition. Then he received a Silver Award at the Montana State Science Fair. Megan Greiff qualified for National FFA at the State FFA Agriscience Competition. Then at the Missoula Science Fair she received a Gold Award, the UM School of Business Administration Award, and the Montana Energy Education Council & North Western Energy – Frank Simon Judges Grand Award. At the Billings Science Expo, Isaac Rost received a Montana State University – Billings $1000 scholarship, the ASU Walton Sustainability Solutions ~ Innovative Solutions Award, the Innovative Solutions for Planet’s Sustainability Grades 9-12 Award, the Society of Petroleum Engineers ~ Best Energy Related Project Grades 7-12 Award, 1st place in grades 9-12, Overall Top Scorer, and the Grand Award, qualifying him for an all-expense paid trip to compete at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) competition in Los Angeles. This is the premier science competition in the world, where about 1800 students from over 75 countries compete for over $4 million in prizes and scholarships. Then at the Missoula Science Fair, he received a Gold Award, the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiative Award, the UM Foundation Marie Wallace Scholarship, the Emerging Research Travel Grant Award, the Montana Energy Education Council & Northwestern Energy – Montana Conservation Energy Award, and the Grand Award with 3rd place qualifying him again to go to ISEF.
In their time away from judging they did many activities. At Billings they attended the keynote speaker presentation which spoke about the coming rare total solar eclipse. Later on they attended a Chemistry Magic Show put on by the MSU-B Chemistry Department. Then at Missoula they were able to receive a personal tour of the University of Montana campus.
Emalee Thurlow – Birth Order’s Effect on Personality
She conducted a study, containing 257 participants, which researched how one’s birth order affects their personality. She found that two of the five main personality aspects were significantly different, which means that when looking at one’s birth order then those two aspects would be more predictable than the others.
Bo Rost – YodaSoda: A Novel Bacterial Phage
Bo discovered a phage (virus that infect bacteria) that infects Mycobacterium smegmatis, a bacteria that is related to the bacteria that causes Tuberculosis. He investigated how different concentrations of bacteria affect death zone sizes, and also determined the life cycle of the phage to be temperate, meaning it can go through both a dormant and active life cycle.
Megan Greiff – Power Generating Shoes: Engineering and Testing of Optimum Material for Piezoelectric Transducer
She tested the best material to pair with a piezoelectric transducer to produce energy, inside of a shoe. She tested six different easily obtainable materials by applying an even amount of force onto 30 replicates of each material. She found out that the polyethylene plastic paired with the transducer produced the most amount of voltage.
Isaac Rost – Analysis of Photocatalytic Performance in TiO2-Dye Sensitized Solar Cells Doped with Nanostructure Diatoms
Isaac worked to improve the efficiency of an organic solar cell by adding diatoms to the cell for a higher surface area. This was successful and increased the efficiency by 91%.